Speaking about Eid al-Fitr, the feast that marked the end of Ramadan on Thursday, the Mgr Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, who was recently elected cardinal said that “For many years I have been sending Eid cards enclosed with the wishes from Pontifical Council for Inter religious Dialogue along with its Urdu (national language) translation. In Faisalabad diocese, I used to call the clerics who were part of our peace committee.” Turning to the positive reaction among Muslims after His Holiness Pope Francis appointed him cardinal last month, he said, “It was overwhelming. Those who knew what it was about agreed that it was an honor for Pakistan. I was touched and impressed how they viewed this development in a wider context. The joy was genuine”.
As reported by Asianews.it, His Eminence Cardinal remarked that “Eid greetings is not only words. It is about coming together and reaching out to our Muslim friends. The joy of Eid is the most natural thing for Christians in Pakistan who live in Muslim neighbourhoods. We have hosted several Iftar dinners (to break the fast) which provide an opportunity to meet our Muslim brothers and sisters, from human rights activists to government officials.”
Meanwhile, Card Coutts also expressed his support for the government’s invitation to Pope Francis to visit Pakistan. The current government made history last month for completing a second consecutive democratic five-year constitutional mandate. However, the previous director of the Vatican Press Office Father Federico Lombardi made it clear that “currently no travel program to Pakistan [was] being studied”. The Pope was grateful for the invitation, but he neither accepted nor refused, Vatican sources said.